A simple guide to smart thermostats

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In this article we’re going to take a look at the ins and outs of smart thermostats: what they do, how they work and how they can help you save. Let’s start with the basics…

What is a smart thermostat?

Just like a regular thermostat, a smart thermostat is a device that controls the heating in your home. The one major difference is that smart thermostats (or WiFi thermostats as they’re sometimes called) can be controlled using an app on your smartphone, tablet or Apple Watch. Some, like our Hive Thermostats, can even be controlled with your voice.

How do smart thermostats work?

Smart thermostats essentially link your central heating boiler with your app. This means that as long as you have an internet connection, you can use your smartphone as a remote control for your heating – and control it from wherever you are. Just remember that smart thermostats need WiFi to work!

How do you install smart thermostats?

Every smart thermostat is a little bit different. But here’s how to install a Hive one:

1. Set up your hub. This little device connects to your router and allows you to control your heating (and any other Hive devices you have) over the internet.

2. Wire the receiver up to your heating system. If you have a wired thermostat, you’ll need to connect that too.

3. Finish setting up your thermostat using the Hive app.

If you’re experienced with electrical wiring then technically you can do it yourself. However, we always recommend getting professional help. Here at Hive, we have expert partner engineers to help install our smart thermostats.

OK, tell me more about what smart thermostats can do

Here are a few of our favourite smart thermostat features:

Your heating in your hand

Being able to control your heating from your phone is really useful. It means you can turn it off from wherever you are if you forget. Or turn it up from the sofa when you’re settling down for the evening. Just having that easy control up your sleeve gives you a lot of peace of mind.

Voice control

Some smart thermostats, like our Hive Thermostat or Hive Thermostat Mini, work perfectly with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. So if you want to turn up the heating just say so.

Easy schedules

With smart thermostats you can set schedules really easily from your smartphone. And if things change, just move on to the next step in your schedule with a tap of the app.


If you leave the house with the heating on, geolocation sends you a reminder to turn it off. It also lets you know if your home’s colder than usual when you’re coming back.

Frost Protection

If the temperature drops below 7°C inside your home, a clever little feature called Frost Protection turns on your heating to stop your pipes from freezing.

Do smart thermostats save energy?

Yes. When you use smart thermostats the right way, they can really help save you energy. Features like schedules and geolocation that we mentioned before are all designed to ensure you’re only heating your home when you need to be.

And simply being able to control your heating from wherever you are means there’s way less risk of you heating an empty home. If you know that none of the family are in, open your app, see if the heating’s on and turn it off if you need to. It takes about three seconds!

Smart thermostats aren’t the only way of saving energy at home. Smart radiator valves connect straight to your radiator so you can control the heating in individual rooms remotely.

Are smart thermostats worth it?

Haven’t we convinced you yet?! We were one of the first companies in the UK to start making them so you won’t be surprised to hear we’re big fans. And the facts back it up: more and more people every year are switching on to smart thermostats because they save money in the long-run. It just so happens that we think ours is one of the best out there.

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